Despite delivering the holy grail to the man who holds the Roman empire, Roberto Di Matteo has discovered just how brutal the Chelsea owner can be as he becomes the latest manager to mull over losing his job.

For Di Matteo to be sacked after achieving the illustrious, unprecedented Champions League trophy with a dramatic final win in May- silverware that Abramovich has been desperate to get his hands on since the start of his ownership- is categorically ludicrous. Is this not enough for the owner Roman Abramovich? The fact that Di Matteo has become the first Premier League manager this season to lose his job is simply unthinkable- especially six months ago when he was winning silverware and being hailed as a miracle worker. How the times have changed. The bookmakers, for sure, will be having a field day.

The Russian has built a reputation since taking over in 2003 of being hard to please and has thrown the axe down on some of the world’s greatest managers such as Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho, demonstrating hardship and sticking to his guns when it comes to the club's best interests.

They have been on a poor run of late, without question, although there are a number of managers in the Barclays Premier League undergoing the same fate yet have the full backing of the club’s executives. One win in eight matches isn’t sparkling form by any stretch of the imagination nor is it acceptable for a team of Chelsea’s stature nevertheless it is far from disastrous especially at this stage of the season.

It is easy to forget that the Blues began the campaign like a house on fire with a string of first-class, attacking displays while their new vibrant style of football was easy on the eye and appeared to suit the likes of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard who thrived on their liberal license to roam in space and dictate the play. The West London side lost just one of their opening twelve games and everything seemed rosy. Now after the first sign of trouble under his spell, Di Matteo's wings have been unjustly clipped.

It is only recent results from the middle of October which has raised eyebrows and has sought to examine Chelsea’s true credentials, yet no-one was even contemplating that this outcome would occur. The unthinkable has happened. The announcement has come as a colossal astonishment and completely out of the blue. The comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Serie A giants Juventus in Turin confirmed his fate, but you have to remember that Juve have only lost once at their new, multi-million pound venue since its opening at the beginning of last year and twice in all competitions since October 2011. Roberto Di Matteo would admit he's paid the price for results in the past few weeks. They were four points ahead in the league, now they are four points behind and at risk in the Champions League. In this case, Abramovich has told Di Matteo this is his fault, he failed to motivate the players and he picked the wrong team. It wasn't a teamsheet he selected last night - it was a suicide note."

It was incredibly bold of Di Matteo to take full responsibility for the humiliating loss although you have to recognise that they were playing a team brimming with quality and self-motivation while it was imperative they recorded a positive result to keep their qualification hopes in their own hands. Following the defeat last night in Italy, a magnamanious Di Matteo was asked by ITV Sport reporter Gabriel Clarke whether he needed a vote of confidence from the men behind the scenes to know his job was safe, to which he replied "No I don't think like that- we have to concentrate on getting ourselves out of the current situation we are in and look towards putting it right in the next match." He seemed to express a level of uncertainty and didn't react like a man who was fully supported by the club's hierarchy with today's events proving that point.

They still have an outside chance of reaching the knockout phase of the Champions League, are third in the Premier League, have a Capital One Cup quarter-final against Leeds United to look forward to while the defence of the FA Cup is yet to begin. In addition, the club will embark on a voyage to Japan to compete in the Club World Cup as reward for their efforts in last season’s European competition.

It’s no secret that European glory and the existing supremacy they hold is Abramovich’s pride and joy and being amongst the world’s elite is a status he holds in the highest regard. It appears that this is slowly slipping away. It is evident that Di Matteo hasn’t had the unequivocal support of Abramovich from the moment he was appointed to replace Andre Villas-Boas on an interim basis. He only intended for Di Matteo to take the role to steady the ship and see the club through to the end of the campaign. Even after the European triumph and FA Cup final victory, Abramovich was still reluctant to hand the Italian the job on a permanent basis- despite players, fans and pundits alike calling for the inevitable appointment to be made. A decision that other chairmen would have made almost instantaneously.

In my opinion, Abramovich has been plotting the possible arrivals of Rafael Benitez and Pep Guardiola since Villas-Boas’ poor streak of one win in twelve during the Spring. It’s more than rife press speculation that ex-Barcelona gaffer Guardiola is the man Abramovich wants to guide Chelsea forward in the long-term, but what if he fails to win the Champions League or has the team performing in a style that does not please Abramovich? He has decided to take evasive action at this stage before the Christmas period kicks. It is completely disrespectful for a chairman to search for someone to fill a position that is already taken. Chelsea are undergoing a blip in form however with the quality of players at their disposal, the tide is always going to turn and they will start picking up points again regardless of who is sitting in the manager’s hotseat.

I had every confidence in Di Matteo to take the club out of their current predicament. Things can change very quickly in football- this is just a bad spell for the club but every team experiences these during a season, it is part and parcel of the game. It claims in the club’s statement issuing reasons for the dismissal that results and performances have failed to reach the standards expected- yet just a month ago, the club were sitting at the top of the Premier League after clinically sweeping aside Tottenham with an impressive display at White Hart Lane. They have missed the leadership of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba on the field with Ashley Cole also missing for a number of games.

Meanwhile, the striker issue continues to linger with the out-of-form Fernando Torres the main attacking option. He has had many off-the-field issues to deal with during his reign including the John Terry racial incident and the recent Mark Clattenburg debacle. The sudden change could now have an adverse effect on the club’s chances of ending their wretched run against unbeaten Manchester City this Sunday.

So while most conventional football fans and clubs will stand on the margins and regard Abramovich as applying the logic of the madhouse, Chelsea's supporters and the club itself may counter by claiming it is a strategy that has brought success. And yet the question will persist. What will actually satisfy Abramovich? No one outside Chelsea knows because no one ever hears a word from their owner. If Di Matteo can be shoved unceremoniously out of the door six months after winning the Champions League, what will ever gain a full approval rating or his patience?

Chelsea need a quick appointment so the manager can get to work immediately. The rumour mill is now churning fast as to who will come in- whoever does will have to comprehend that they will be under pressure from the moment they step foot in the office with Abramovich’s notorious impatience for success. The accomplishments of the club in 2012 has seen Di Matteo’s CV significantly upgraded during his brief nine-month stay at Stamford Bridge to the point of which he could now walk into almost any job in the Premier League or one of the world’s lucrative divisions. He certainly departs with his head held high knowing that he has played an integral part of one of the club’s most successful periods in its history.


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